Including Bunnings and JB Hi-Fi.

Major Australian retailers have joined the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) including Bunnings, JB Hi-Fi and The Good Guys – a step towards creating a single national voice for small, medium and large retailers.

ARA president, Rowan Hodge said the integration of these major retailers into the ARA is an exciting moment for Australia’s retail sector.

“Representation of the retail industry in Australia has been fragmented. The combination of the major retailers and the ARA is a critical first step in creasing One Voice for retailers,” he said.

“We believe working together will grow and enhance the advocacy, events and education services we provide our members and will particularly improve outcomes for small retailers.”

JB Hi-Fi Group CEO, Richard Murray said small business is the cornerstone of the Australian economy and many Australian retailers started out with just one store and grew from there.

“All retailers, no matter the size, want to ensure government policy encourages employment, sustainability, safety in the workplace and retail careers. We want to create a platform to celebrate and promote all Australian retailers and a single point of engagement for government, industry and community groups.

“Major retailers believe consolidating advocacy, representation and industry leadership activities is crucial, and that the ARA is best placed to provide One Voice for the retail sector. Our primary objective is the continued growth and success of all retailers.”

Hodge also said there will be a transition to new leadership with long serving executive director, Russell Zimmerman announcing his retirement.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Russell for his many years of strong leadership of the ARA and the retail agenda in Australia.”

Zimmerman commented, “I have enjoyed leading this great organisation in an industry that touches millions of Australians and a pillar of the Australian economy. I am looking forward to a new chapter and fresh challenges in my professional career.”

Murray said, “Russell has been a champion of our industry over the ten years he has led the ARA. Our industry is the better for his leadership and insights. I thank Russell for his years of dedicated service and wish him well.”

The ARA is Australia’s largest retail association with 9,500 independent and national retail members, 95% of members are small and medium size businesses.